Bucs WR DeSean Jackson – Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator Todd Monken is a pretty blunt and honest guy.
That’s terrific for the media who get to listen to him talk each Wednesday afternoon during the season. But sometimes words can rub players the wrong way.
Last week Monken was addressing the media and the subject of the addition of free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson was brought up.
Bucs OC Todd Monken – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“How can we get DeSean Jackson up to playing at a really high level?” Monken said. “Not that he’s still not capable of it, but how do we get him to play at why we paid him?’’ Monken said. “I’ve told him that, ‘we have paid you a lot of money to be a damn good player. This isn’t a contract where we’re paying you for what you’ve done for us…we’re not paying you like (Derek) Jeter [in his last three years]. We don’t have any old street cred that we’re paying you for. No. We need you to be a great player now. That’s why we gave you the money.
“[Jackson] came here because of the money. Don’t give me all that bull about you came here because of the weather and Jameis. No. You came here because we paid you the most. You need to play like that. And he gets that. He’s smart enough to understand that.”
Take it for what it’s worth if it was right or wrong to say, but that is just Monken.
On Tuesday at One Buc following the team’s first OTA, Jackson was at the podium and was asked to respond to Monken’s comments.
“I think anybody – everybody sitting in this room – if you had a chance to get a pay rise or whatever, I think you would take the same addition,” Jackson said. “So, it’s really not all about money. It definitely plays a key part, but I play this game at a high level and you get rewarded for what you do. So, just going out there and putting it in on the field and once you do that, then [you get] the results. Hopefully, you get paid enough to take care of your family and live a great lifestyle, but still put in the work.
Bucs WR DeSean Jackson – Photo by Cliff Welch/PR
“I expect high expectations for myself. I don’t let anyone else really control that. I ask the same thing from myself, my family, people that work for me, so I understand that. One thing about myself is I’m a professional, I go out there and the results show for themselves. However someone feels, that’s how they feel. I know when it comes time to play games and I’m out there on the field, I’m going to give it all I’ve got to help my team win games.”
Things are falling into place for the Bucs to make a serious playoff run it appears, and the addition of Jackson was one of those pieces that have the fans and organization excited. Whether you feel Monken’s comments were warranted, for the Bucs to achieve their goal of the playoffs – or even more – Jackson needs to being his best to the Bucs in 2017. Both coach and player can agree on that.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
Idk why everyone’s making such a big deal out of this. Sure it sounds brash, but when you consider that that’s just how Monken’s personality is, coupled with the fact that he would definitely have met with DJax and had this conversation before AND after they signed him, the only slip up seems to be that he showed the Bucs cards on how they view DJax. Obviously the organization doesn’t want to send the message that a guy signed here just for the money, they want him to go out there and talk about how he loves the city, that the future looks bright for this team, blah blah blah. But you’d have to be crazy to think that the Bucs weren’t the highest bidder for Jackson, given the need he fills. Monkens failure was that he didn’t tow the party line to the press, so to speak. No big deal, just a little slip up in his representation of the organization (this is also why a lot of teams don’t let you talk to the lower level coaches, it’s all about PR).
To me, Monkens comment sounds like a compliment. What’s key to me in the blurb is that he says “DeSean is a smart guy. He understands that.” That signals to me that he’s had this conversation with DJax during the signing process, and it was agreed by all parties that, “hey we’re going to throw this money at you to fill this need for us.”
Nothing controversial there, just a little put of the ordinary to actually hear it from a coaches mouth. Licht will get that under control.
I would advise the Bucs to not buy into all this media hype in regards to the playoffs.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have a team goal, but get swallowed up in this media swill and that stupid Hard Knocks program makes great fodder for the media and something interesting to prattle on about, but it won’t get them any closer to the playoffs and only prove to distract them.
The only way to get to the playoffs is to play the games one at a time and stay focused on winning them, They playoffs will take care of themselves.
The rest of this playoff talk is just a distraction at this point.
DRD, Koetter, and D-Jax says tap the brakes. Add me to that group of distinguished men who believe that it is way to early to put us in the playoffs. I clearly remember the 2011 Eagles dream team. We got time to get it right! Go Bucs!
Just ball out. This story is an afterthought.
DSJ is a much bigger and smarter man than his team’s OC. He said all that’s needed in response to really stupid remarks.
If this is just to be written off as Monken being Monken as some have suggested, then the Bucs need a new OC. Monken is the last guy to be talking smack about pay for performance when he is the OC who turned a top ten offense under his predecessor 2 years ago into the 18th ranked offense last season. Of course the players had something to do with that outcome.
Something about people who live in glass houses comes to mind.
DSJ is NOT a snowflake…your suggestion of a new OC resembles the “snowflake” mentality; Grow up.
I think all this has been blown out of proportion. That being said Monken should have said what he said to Jacksoms face alone though. Not to the media. That was dumb IMO.
I also agree with Dr. d here. Lol. Yes it happens occasionally. Soon as we get the attitude we are playoff bound players lose that chip on shoulder and hunger. I’ve approached it as “if” we stay healthy and thats a big if because depth still is a concern we have a good chance at playoffs. We look better on paper but that means dick.
If they get few key injuries with that tough schedule they will be lucky to be .500.
Monken is the Coach who was responsible for getting our best receiver out of his funk of dropping passes, and also who got the receivers to learn how to run crisp routes to get open. That resulted in our TE getting more touchdowns than any other TE in the NFL. Yes he is not only the WR Coach, but doubles as the OC, but lets be real; on this team the real OC is Koetter because he calls the plays and makes the decisions as to the Offense. Don’t hang on Monken that our offense regressed last year. That should fall on our muscle hamster and Warhop, as well as the many injuries we had last year. Monken has to motivate Jackson and also has to elevate the game of our first round TE so he does not drop passes and gets comfortable with the NFL game and the play book and develops a passion for his NFL Game.
Translation: “My numbers drove my market value. Tampa decided to pay me this money. Nobody can motivate me more than myself. While I respect Monken’s opinion, this is Economics 101.”
Love it! Go get it DSJ and stay hungry!!
Coach Monken was totally out of line and Jackson’s comments were very appropriate and professional. Monken needs to focus on the offense and preparing for the 2017 season and leave comments about players financial conditions to the administration.
You crack me up. DSJ’s RESPONSE to Monken’s comment was indeed handled well I get that. Monken’s comment warrants “out of line” How and what about your judgment warrants that? Not every MAN gets unhinged and sees it as “out of line”. Whaa.
This Bucs team has a very good, positive vibe going into this season, then we get an idiot coach shooting his mouth off to the media creating a distraction and an adversarial relationship with one of his star receivers. I guess there is a reason assistant coaches rarely speak to the media. I hope Koetter and Licht ripped him a new one.
People have made too big a deal about this but it seems DJax responded the proper way. First off, how many of the coaches and fans DON’T expect DJax to earn his paycheck? All of us I hope. Monken just happens to be the one who said it publicly. I definitely like DJax’s response though and hope it’s not just a pure media response. I see big things coming this year from our receiving corps and DJax is the key that opens up the field for us.
*all of us DO expect him to earn his paycheck
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